Get ready for a swashbuckling adventure as we rank the best pirate games of all time. Whether you're tasked with searching for hidden treasure, commanding a small naval army, or are simply sailing the seven seas, these games are often a blast to play. Some games, like Sid Meier's Pirates! and Assassin's Creed IV: Black Flag, are loosely based on historical figures and events, while others simply take the pirate theme and sail with it.
It's no surprise games about pirates have been so popular — looting enemy ships, plundering for gold, and conquering the high seas are the things that great games are made of. And while the pirate theme has been a mainstay in pop culture, more and more games have started taking it to a new level.
From PC pirate games to Xbox 360 exclusives to modern games on the PS4, check out some of the best and most popular pirate video games of all time, and vote up all the titles that made you want to hoist your flag and set sail.
- 1110 VOTES
Metacritic Score: 84
Black Flag brought the Assassins Creed franchise back to life with an exciting campaign as a pirate/assassin on the high seas. Who doesn't want to follow up an assassination by getting on your ship and singing some sea shanties? That is until you need to fight off other pirates in a massive boat battle.
Set in 1715, Black Flag takes place during a time when pirates had domain over the seven seas. Edward Kenway was young, tough, headstrong, and the perfect pirate to help conquer the Caribbean.
- Release: 2013
- Developer: Ubisoft Ukraine, Ubisoft Romania, Ubisoft Quebec, Ubisoft Montreal, Ubisoft Montpellier
- Platform: PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, Wii U PlayStation 4,PC, Xbox One
- 262 VOTES
Metacritic Score: 80
You've probably heard of the Civilization series, but those aren't the only games Sid Meier's makes. Back in 1987, Pirates! was an ambitious open-world strategy adventure game where players start as an insignificant captain and work their way up the ranks until they're are a feared sailer whose name is known across the high seas.
You'll fight, you'll plunder, and you'll do all things that make it fun to be a pirate in this game. The game was remade (thankfully) in 2004 and is still considered a classic.
- Release: 2004
- Developer: Firaxis Games
- Platform: OS X, PlayStation Portable, Microsoft Windows, Wii, Xbox 360
- 329 VOTES
Metacritic Score: 86 (Secret of Monkey Island)
Monkey Island is a series of adventure games from LucasArts. The games are known for their humor and player-friendly qualities, with each game usually involving a new mystery on Monkey Island that the player needs to solve. Exploring the seas and interacting with other pirates (some friendly, some not so much) is the name of the game.
The player will need to navigate these interactions carefully if they are going to succeed in their mission to uncover the mysteries of Monkey Island. These games have recently been collected and most are available either for free or for a discounted price on GOG.
- Release: 1997
- Developer: LucasArts
- Platform: ScummVM, Microsoft Windows, DOS
Metacritic Score: N/A
In Cutthroats: Terror on the High Seas, you're given your own ship, a faithful crew, and enough room to store all the treasure you can plunder. Set in the 17th century, Terror on the High Seas is a semi-historically accurate strategy game where players navigate the treacherous seas as they come into contact with various settlements around the world.
It's a game with a lot of possibilities, as you actually need to maintain your ship and gather enough loot to help you and your crew live a long and happy life. It's a game of strategy and skill, and if you make a few wrong choices your crew could eventually turn against you.
- Release: 1999
- Developer: Hothouse Creations
- Platform: Microsoft Windows